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What to do about a fascination with gun play
A: I have a 5-year-old son who, thanks to a little boy down the street, is now obsessed with guns. The other little boy has a lot of pretend guns and we do not, so my son now makes guns out of everything…even kitchen utensils. He spends an unusual amount of time pretending to shoot them, and talks about them so much it disturbs me. I don't allow him to play at that child's house now (and haven't for almost a year), but the other child does come here to play often. I'm afraid my expressing a dissatisfaction with his interest in guns has only made him more interested. I've done all I can think of to end the fascination, or at least the behaviour (various punishment for pretending to shoot people, and I even taped a real-life ER show on the Learning Channel for him to see what happens when people use guns). He found it interesting, and the gun-play fascination has continued as usual, non-stop. Like I said, he's 5 and kids are getting kicked out of elementary schools for pretend gun play of this sort. What can I do to rid him of his intense fascination that is long past playing Army?